Buxton, Iowa

Buxton, Iowa, a coal mining colony with a large black population that grew in southern Iowa at the beginning of the 20th Century.

At its peak in 1910, Buxton’s population was between eight and ten thousand people. Although it was usually described as “a black man’s town” it was in fact a multi-ethnic community throughout its history. Swedes, Slovaks and Welsh immigrants were the largest European groups although African Americans were by far the largest ethnic group in the town.

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The Buxton Historic Town site is a historical site located east of Lovilia, Iowa, United States in rural Monroe County. The unincorporated community was founded in 1895, and by 1927 it had lost all of its residents. It was a racially integrated community with a large African American population built in the southern Iowa coalfields. The town site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Subsequently, most of the remaining buildings in the town were torn down, and much of the land is either forested or farmed. A few structures from the town remain as ruins.[7]

By the early 1920s the decreasing demand for coal to power locomotives forced Consolidated Coal to close most of its nearby mines.  Gradually residents left the town and by 1927 Buxton had lost all of its residents.  

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